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Mobile

  • Facebook Messenger beta arrives with data saver

    Future versions of Facebook Messenger will boast a data saving feature, this according to new beta builds of the app. In the same vein as Opera Max or Google Chrome's built-in browser data saver, Facebook Messenger's addition will attempt to lessen the impact data-heavy messages will have on your phone bill. Facebook Messenger will likely receive a data saving feature in its very near future Details are scant on just how the service works, but we speculate it works much the same as Opera Max. Opera uses its own servers to filter and compress traffic, resulting in some pretty impressive savings in...

  • Google Sprayscape: spray weird 360 snaps with this app

    Another week means another app from Google, but this one, dubbed Sprayscape, comes from its Creative Lab. In other words, expect something less like Allo and more like Lip Swap. Sprayscape, released on Android, allows users to essentially create a Photosphere/360 photo with a "spraying" mechanic. The app isn't super accurate at all, even claiming to be a "quick hack" in the Google Play description. "Sprayscape is a quick hack using the phone's gyroscope to take pictures on the inside of a 360-degree sphere. Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas," reads the description. Google Sprayscape...

  • Rand down: 3 apps to keep tabs on SA’s financial news

    The South African rand isn't doing well today. In the midst of finance minster Pravin Gordhan's summoning over the SARS "rogue unit", the national currency has tanked around 4% of its value against the US Dollar since the day began. While you may be on the road, frantically trying to find a television to see the news unfold, you don't really have to. Thankfully, the most popular mobile platforms have a slew of apps available for you to monitor the financial news emanating from South Africa, and beyond. Here are three great picks for Android, iOS and Windows 10. Currency FX About as...

  • FNB introduces FNB Pay, fingerprint ID support in app

    FNB has announced version five of its banking app, with several big features in tow. The first feature is FNB Pay, allowing users to pay for goods/services under R200 by simply tapping their NFC-equipped Android phone against a contactless-enabled point of sale terminal. Purchases of more than R200 will require a PIN code in addition to fingerprint authentication, it seems. Unfortunately, iOS owners seem to be out of luck regarding Pay for now. The bank has confirmed having talks with Apple about Apple Pay however, but there's no ETA on this feature. "As of today, FNB customers with an NFC enabled Android device can...

  • Rocking The Daisies: Memeburn’s essential app kit

    We know the feeling: you're so amped for Rocking The Daisies that you forget to pack the most important things, like sunscreen, underwear or that preppy new denim shirt you bought. But while you probably also forgot to pack essential gadgets, what about those important apps? Believe it or not (perhaps you're a purist), but surviving the modern music festival -- like Rocking The Daisies -- takes more than sheer adrenaline and sunburn. You may just need an app or two to keep up to speed with the festival itself. So, with that in mind, here is Memeburn's essential app kit for...

  • Telegram adds in-chat gaming to its apps

    Instant messaging service Telegram may not be well known in South Africa, but it's definitely a solid alternative to WhatsApp and Messenger. Back in December 2015, the service had over 62-million signed up to its service, with that figure likely much higher in October 2016. But while its userbase might pale in comparison to its Facebook-owned rivals, it is doing something decidedly different. Telegram now boasts in-chat games thanks to a new bot duo. Adding the @Gamee bot (or the official @GameBot) allows users to jam by yourself or invite a friend to compete in one of thirty games available at present....

  • Meerkat may finally be dead, but Houseparty continues legacy

    Life On Air's Meerkat, arguably one of 2015's most exciting apps, has been pronounced dead. As of 30 September 2016, Meerkat is no longer listed on Android's Google Play store, or Apple's iOS App Store. The app, which took SXSW 2015 by storm and became a practical overnight sensation, allowed users to almost seamlessly livestream their activities. It was a novel idea at the time, but an idea that was soon made more mainstream courtesy of Twitter's Periscope. Ware of the Week: Meerkat Live mobile streaming has suddenly become a big potential business. With the current crop of flagship and mid-range smartphones boasting some...

  • Feeling impatient? Here’s how to get Google Allo in SA

    It's been a long time coming, but Google Allo is finally rolling out across the world, bringing a variety of cool features to a messaging platform. As with many app rollouts, these things can take a bit of time and Google Play isn't granting access at the time of writing. But if you're feeling a little impatient like us, we show you how to get Google Allo in SA... Enable installations from third party sources For starters, you'll want to visit your settings menu and the privacy or security sub-menu. From this sub-menu, you should be able to enable installations from third party/unofficial sources. You'll need...

  • Shepherd Bushiri debuts South Africa’s latest MVNO

    South Africa is about to get yet another virtual network operator from a rather unlikely source. Nope, it's not a retailer, an Austrian beverage company, or even a bank. Instead, it's Malawi-born church leader, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, who's entering the market with his own, eponymous network. The alternatively-titled Prophet Shepherd Bushiri (PSB) Network, according to a press release, will "provide a service to like-minded primarily individuals who were looking for a more community focused, inclusive operation." PSB Network will also use Cell C's mobile infrastructure and airtime system, which is a route that many other mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) like...

  • South African Post Office now has its very own Android, iOS app

    The South African Post Office is now the proud owner of its own official app. Available on Android and iOS devices, the app lets users track the location and status of a parcel, scan tracking numbers using the device's camera, and even get notifications when a parcel has been delivered. Developed by Fuse IT, the app was launched this week to fairly favourable (but scant) reviews on the Google Play Store, boasting a 4.2/5 score from six reviews. Yeah, you can't read much into that, but the app's definitely a step in the right direction for the embattled parastatal. "The app works well,...

  • Former Rovio CEO to lead Nokia brand’s return to market

    Earlier this year, it was announced that new firm HMD Global would be bringing the Nokia name back to the smartphone world. At the time, HMD Global said it would be using the Nokia name for smartphones and tablets and that these devices would be running Android. The company already has several high-profile executives, but you can add another one to the list, in the form of ex-Rovio Entertainment CEO Pekka Rantala. The executive, who was also a senior vice-president of global marketing at Nokia, is now the chief marketing officer at HMD Global, the company announced. Rantala has 17-years of experience at Nokia, before...

  • Google Play Family Library is now a thing – but not in SA

    Apple's iTunes makes sharing purchases with loved ones rather easy, but Google-toting users can get in on the action now as well. The Google Play Family Library feature allows up to six family members to share purchases, the company announced in a blog post. "When you buy an eligible app, game, movie, TV show, or book in the Play Store, you can now share it with your family -- across devices -- with no additional sign-up fee," the company elaborated. Android devices have access to all shared content, while movies, TV shows and books can be shared via iOS devices and the web...

  • 20+ essential USSD codes to remember for Vodacom, MTN & beyond

    If you're a prepaid user on one of South Africa's mobile phone networks, chances are that you use a USSD code every day. Whenever you check your airtime, load more airtime or request a call from someone who has more airtime than you, you're using a USSD code. Often, you'll remember these as some of the most used codes, but there are a few you might not know exist. Below, we take a look at some of the USSD codes you really should remember, as well as their functions, for the biggest networks in South Africa. Note: we'll be sure to...

  • Stop charging import duties on mobile phones – WASPA

    The Wireless Application Services Providers' Association (WASPA) has called on the government to stop charging import duties on smartphones, saying that they aren't a luxury. The association said that mobile use needs to be encouraged, because of the relationship between mobile data usage and GDP growth. It cited a GSMA study, which found that doubling mobile data usage resulted in the GDP growing by 0.5%. "Unfortunately, while cellphone handsets enable this GDP-boosting data usage, smartphones attract ad valorem duty, plus 14% VAT, when imported into the country," WASPA explained in a statement. Read more: Telkom reveals FreeMe - six rather attractive mobile data plans "WASPA...

  • Apple still gets it first, but Prisma app gets Android port

    Android and iOS apps tend to get released at the same time these days, but there are still a few notable exceptions. Whether it's because there are fewer devices to target or a perception that Apple fans are more likely to pay for in-app purchases, the practice of releasing an app on iOS first is nothing new. One of these high-profile apps is Prisma, a popular photo tool that turns your snaps into works of art. It's been exclusively available on iPhones for a few weeks -- until now, that is. The team behind the arty app have released Prisma on Android, allowing the...